Fiscal Year 2017 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations

On July 12, 2016, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the State, Foreign Operations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 (H.R. 5912). Several pro-life issues were addressed:

Mexico City Policy (MCP) Reinstated: The MCP denies federal funding to foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion overseas as a method of family planning. The MCP was first adopted by the Reagan Administration and continued by the two Bush Administrations, but reversed, in turn, by the Clinton and Obama Administrations. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment striking the MCP from the bill. The amendment was defeated 20-29.

Defunding UNFPA: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) remains a strong supporter of the coercive population control program in China. The Kemp-Kasten Amendment, passed in 1985, gives the President the authority to deny U.S. funds to any organization or program that supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

The Reagan and the two Bush administrations denied U.S. funding to the UNFPA because of its support for China’s coercive program. The Clinton administration restored funding in 1993, as did the Obama administration in 2009.

The FY 2017 bill does not fund the UNFPA:

Sec. 7056. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be made available for the United Nations Population Fund.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) offered an amendment, a section of which would have restored funding for the UNFPA. The amendment failed, 20-29.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered a second amendment which also would continue funding the UNFPA.  The amendment was defeated 20-28.

International Family planning/reproductive health funding: In Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016, the level of funding for international family planning/reproductive health was set at not less than $575 million. The Fiscal Year 2017 bill, in contrast, caps funding at $461 million (Sec. 7058 (b)). Rep. Tim Ryan’s failed amendment also contained a section which would have set the limit of spending on international family planning/reproductive health to at least $585 million.